The Italian rookie was rapid at the Aragon test in August and it seems that this track could be one of the best for him to join an illustrious list to have won both in WorldSBK and in MotoGP™
The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has been a titanic tussle throughout but the Tissot Aragon Round could be the one that sees the pendulum swing red for another year; Ducati came out strong as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) continued to struggle. However, the Ducati at the top wasn’t the Championship-leading one; Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) fired in a brilliant lap time to deny Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) of Saturday morning honours.
Bautista stormed to the fastest lap of the weekend and the first 1’48 of the Tissot Aragon Round with a 1’48.886, as he took over at the top with just under 11 minutes left on the clock. However, making a clear step in the final sector with a fast lap to put him top, Danilo Petrucci was on a mission and went top by 0.078s over Bautista. With a mega late lap, Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) went third, up from P16, whilst working together like they usually do in Superpole, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu set their weekend-best lap times. Locatelli took P4, whilst KRT had a similar idea. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) hit the track after spending the first ten minutes in the box before eventually towing stand-in teammate Florian Marino round with him, with Marino going fifth and Rea sixth.
Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was top BMW again and consolidated his top six contending status having led the session in its early stages, finishing P7 but with good pace. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) went to eighth place with a late lap, whilst Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) made it two BMWs inside the top nine in P9. Completing the top ten, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the only rider in the top 16 who didn’t improve on his Friday time.
Toprak Razgatlioglu’s Aragon nightmare continued as he was only P11, even with a fastest lap of his weekend so far despite a big moment at the end of the back straight at the close of the session. Making a clear step up, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was inside the top ten for the first time, initially going ninth and then up to sixth before finishing 12th at the chequered flag. Elsewhere, a crash for Dominique Aegerter at Turn 7 left the Swiss rider out of action very early on, with smoke also seen emitting from the YZF R1.
Top six after WorldSBK FP3 at Aragon, full results here:
1. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’48.808s
2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.078s
3. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.555s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +0.690s
5. Florian Marino (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.039s
6. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.090s
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